I recently sat down with New Testament professor Matthew Harmon to ask him some questions about his new book, Asking the Right Questions: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Applying the Bible (Crossway, 2017)—which is currently on sale for less than $8 at Amazon.
We all know that we should read our Bibles—yet at times we struggle with knowing exactly how, no matter how long we’ve followed Jesus. In this empowering book, Professor Matthew Harmon walks us through two simple sets of questions to ask every time we open our Bibles:
Understanding the Bible:
1. What do we learn about God?
2. What do we learn about people?
3. What do we learn about relating to God?
4. What do we learn about relating to others?
Applying the Bible:
1. What does God want me to understand?
2. What does God want me to believe?
3. What does God want me to desire?
4. What does God want me to do?
Arming you with practical ways to get to the heart of any passage, this book will help position you to experience the joy that results from being transformed by God’s Word.
“I love this book on how to study and apply the Bible. Some books on interpreting Scripture are so complicated and have so many steps that we can become discouraged, but Harmon is simple and clear without being simplistic. He helps us see the big picture in studying the Bible by reminding us of the storyline of Scripture and by emphasizing that the story centers on Jesus himself. At the same time, we are given very practical advice on how to study and apply specific passages. An excellent resource for teachers, students, and all who desire to study the Scriptures.”
—Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Professor of Biblical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
“Asking good questions is a key to understanding. And asking good questions about the Bible is a key to understanding the most important truths in the world. God can handle all your questions, and he loves to reward those who ask in faith when engaging his very words. This book will help you ask the best of questions on the best of sources—God’s Word—in the best of ways—by faith.”
—David Mathis, executive editor, desiringGod.org; pastor, Cities Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota; author, Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines
Table of Contents
Part 1: Laying the Foundation
1. The Story We Find Ourselves In
2. The Bible Is God’s Tool to Change Us
Part 2: Reading the Bible
3. Reading the Bible as Jesus Did
4. Written for Us but Not to Us
5. Four Foundational Questions
Part 3: Reading Our Lives
6. The Gospel Pattern of Life
7. The Fallen Condition
8. The Gospel Solution
9. Applying the Bible to Our Whole Lives
10. The Power to Obey
Resource 1: Tips for Understanding and Applying Different Kinds of Passages
Resource 2: A Word to Pastors, Sunday School Teachers, and Small Group Leaders
Resource 3: At a Glance: Asking the Right Questions